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Typhoid fever
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Typhoid fever

This is about the disease typhoid fever. See typhus for an unrelated disease that because of its similar name is often confused with it.

Typhoid Fever is a illness caused by a bacterium named Salmonella typhi. It is very common worldwide, and can only be carried in the human bloodstream and intestinal tract. It is transmitted by food or water contaminated with the bacteria from an infected person, or by sewage containing the bacteria. After multiplying in the body of the infected person, symptoms include a high fever from 103° to 104°F (39° to 40°C). Weakness, headaches, lack of appetite, and stomach pains are common. Typhoid symptoms may include a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. It is possible to die from typhoid fever. Extreme symptoms of intestinal perforation, delusions, and confusion also are possible. Antibiotics, such as ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and ciprofloxacin are commonly used in treating typhoid fever.

A person may become a carrier of typhoid fever, suffering no symptoms, but capable of infecting others. In 1907, Mary Mallon ("Typhoid Mary") became the first American carrier to be identified and traced. According to the Centers for Disease Control approximately 1 of 20 people who contract typhoid continue to carry the disease after they recover.

When untreated, typhoid fever persists for three weeks to a month. Death occurs in between 1/9 and 1/3 of cases.

Typhoid fever has claimed the lives of several famous people, including Franz Schubert, Wilbur Wright, and the British prince consort Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.